The application process for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) / Division of Fire Safety (DFS) Workers Compensation Grant closed on March 31. I would like to provide some information that you could reference as needed. The grant announcement letter and applications were mailed out to eligible fire departments during the first week of December 2019. The mailing roster was developed by using the DFS, Fire Marshal’s roster of registered fire departments for the calendar year of 2019.
There were 161 volunteer fire departments (VFD) that met the criteria to be eligible for this grant. Below is the criteria to be eligible:
- VFD’s must have a signed, current/updated Mutual Aid Agreement with MDC.
- VFD’s must have an approved DFS registration and/or appear on the DFS roster of registered fire departments.
- VFD’s must report within MDC’s online wildfire reporting application and to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).
- VFD’s must be a 100% volunteer member base.
- VFD’s must be TAG, subscription, or privately funded. Any departments receiving funds from taxes are not eligible.
- VFD must remain on DFS’s roster of registered fire departments. If DFS registration lapses through the grant time period, the VFD will no longer be eligible for this grant funding.
We were successful at picking up a couple of fire departments that had let their registration lapse. In total, we only received 48 applications. 29% of eligible VFD’s applied for funding. One applicant will not be funded as they are a “paid per call” VFD so they do not meet the 100% volunteer requirement. I am still working with five of the applicants to clarify the details of their applications. Forty-two of the applicants have received grant funding award letters.
The grant began with an allotment of $250,000 from the MDC commission. As the interest in the grant and the number of applicants was not what we had originally thought it would be, the funding was reduced to $100,000 and remained at this number for the duration of the grant.
Due to the varying worker’s compensation policy renewal dates of the awarded applicants, some will receive funding starting in FY20. Some will not start receiving funding until FY 21. This means that MDC has committed funding to these fire departments through FY23. To help gain interest in the grant, it was agreed that once a VFD was awarded funding, they would receive the funding for three consecutive years. Each VFD awarded funding will receive a maximum of $6,000 ($2,000/year) from MDC to help with the cost of workers comp insurance for their active members.
The planned budget for FY20 is $100,000. FY21, FY22, and FY23 will be decided once we get through the reimbursement process for FY20. At that point, I will be able to reduce the funding requested for FY21, FY22, and FY23.
With the funding awarded to forty-seven volunteer fire departments, we have assisted in providing workers compensation for 928 of Missouri’s volunteer firefighters.
Volunteer Fire Departments awarded funding by county
- Camden: 1
- Chariton: 1
- Dallas: 2
- Dent/Shannon: 1
- Douglas: 3
- Gasconade: 1
- Hickory: 2
- Howell: 2
- Knox: 1
- Livingston: 2
- Madison: 1
- McDonald/Newton: 1
- Osage: 2
- Ozark: 2
- Ozark/Douglas: 1
- Pettis; 2
- Pike: 1
- Polk: 1
- Ripley: 3
- Schuyler: 1
- Shannon: 2
- St. Francois: 3
- Ste, Genevieve: 4
- Sullivan: 1
- Texas: 3
- Washington: 1
- Wayne: 1
- Wright: 1